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Great expectations from participants of Tropical Diseases Fall Program

“Tropical Diseases, Environmental Change and Human Health” is a program that provides an understanding of how diseases change with its surrounding environment and how local and global abiotic factors modify vectors and the manifestations of disease itself. Dengue fever, a mosquito-borne tropical disease, will be examined through its vector (the mosquito) and from a communitarian perspective, considering the effects of environmental changes on the disease. “Addressing a public health problem through an interdisciplinary approach to solve it”, states the faculty member M.D. Nicolás López as the specificity of this Semester Program in Costa Rica, that started on August 17th.

This intense immersive experience emphasizes both the biological nature of tropical diseases and the ecological and human health outcomes resulting from changes to ecosystem structure and functions. Moreover, to learn from and about everyone in the course, to become a better researcher and educator, and to network with local scientists, are part of the objectives defined by Dr. Rea Hanselmann, Coordinator of the Program.

The students come from diverse backgrounds. For Rachel Black, from the Westmont College, “this course fits perfectly with my major in Biology, and minor in Spanish, since it incorporates biology and culture. It will help me be a better health care professional in the future”. Jessica Kenny, Development Studies major, from Brown University, declares that it represents an opportunity to take a Biology related program, with a field-based experience that aloud to be in nature. “Gain the most of observing how human care is done in Costa Rica; a nation with a reputation of been a happy country and in peace with nature”, Jessica said. They are part of the 13 participants who will receive OTS method of field-based, experiential learning around various field stations and a visit to Nicaragua. We wish them a successful semester abroad!

Last Updated ( 09/16/15 )
Organization for Tropical Studies
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